Latin AmericaLatin America
Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, pro tempore president of the Union of South American Nations, Unasur, chaired this morning’s closed doors meeting or South American leaders with Barrack Obama.
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said Friday that the Trinidad and Tobago summit “should be the first step for a new regional order” and recalled the previous summit in Argentina had signalled “an inflection point for the continent”.
United States President Barack Obama pledged on Friday to seek a new beginning in ties with the Castro brothers ruled Cuba as part of a new era of US partnership and engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean. But he also pointed out he had come to speak about the future, not the past.
President Barack Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez shared a friendly handshake at the start of the Fifth Summit of the Americas Friday. The Venezuelan government called the handshake ''historic'' and hinted that it was the first step toward thawing chilly relations between the two nations.
Chile's flag air carrier LAN announced on Friday it will invest 1.3 billion US dollars between 2009 and 2011 to expand its fleet. LAN, which has operations across South America, will buy long- and short-haul planes as well as new-generation cargo aircraft, Chairman Jorge Awad said.
The International Monetary Fund on Friday approved a previously agreed 47 billion US dollars line of credit for Mexico, the first country to qualify for the new lending facility for strong-performing emerging economies. However Mexican authorities have stated they intend to treat the one-year arrangement as precautionary and do not intend to draw on the line.
The ALBA group presidential summit, which has Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez as its main promoter, fully supported Paraguayan claims in its conflict with Brazil regarding the energy from Latinamerica’s largest hydroelectric dam Itaipú.
Latinamerica is hopeful that an increase in trade with China and investments from the Asian giant will help compensate lost business with the United States and the European Union because of the global crisis.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday US policy toward Cuba has failed as she welcomed an ”overture'' from President Raul Castro to talk about “everything” including human rights and political prisoners.
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, OAS Jose Miguel Insulza said Friday that he will ask its members to readmit Cuba almost half a century after the country was ousted for its “communist alignment”.